Jasper Atienza v. His Majesty the King

(Ontario) (Criminal) (By Leave)


Criminal law — Charge to jury — Appellate review of jury instructions for legal error — Whether jury properly instructed — Should the functional approach to reviewing a jury charge engage enhanced scrutiny where the issues are integral to the accused’s defence?


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Mr. Williams was shot three times, by two gunmen, a short distance down the street from his home. He died shortly afterwards. The applicant and Mr. Williams knew each other as a result of their involvement in the drug subculture. They shared a circle of acquaintances, a number of whom were involved in the events surrounding the shooting and gave evidence at the trial. The applicant admitted in an agreed statement of facts that he attended at the scene of the shooting in a light grey/silver BMW SUV. However, his position was that, although the evidence placed him at the scene of the shooting, it was not sufficient to prove that he was involved in the shooting. At trial, the applicant argued that the shooting was done by two other individuals who had arrived at the scene in a second vehicle. The applicant was convicted of first degree murder after a trial by judge and jury. The conviction appeal was dismissed.

Lower Court Rulings

August 11, 2023
Court of Appeal for Ontario

2023 ONCA 537, C68389
Conviction appeal dismissed